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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, October 18, 2018

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Significance of Southern Gas Corridor project increasing due to Ukrainian conflict

Georgian state minister on European

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Baku, Azerbaijan, July 17 By Elena Kosolapova – Trend: Significance of the Southern Gas Corridor is increasing day by day due to the conflict in Ukraine, as well as the relations between Kiev and Moscow in the gas sphere, Davit Bakradze, Georgian state minister on European and Euro-Atlantic integration told Trend.

“There is already good cooperation experience between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey,” said the minister.

“It is a strategic partnership on the project that has already been formed and aimed at ensuring the energy security of not only our region, but also Europe,” Bakradze added.

Georgia is interested in this project not only in terms of transit, but also as a country that contributes to Europe’s energy security, according to the minister.

“Energy security is one of the key issues for Europe today, since manipulation with energy supplies has become Russia’s hallmark,” said Bakradze.

“Manipulation in this sphere has turned into policy in recent times,” he said. “Therefore, diversification is very significant. It is very important for Europe to obtain the energy resources of the Caspian Sea.”

“The entire infrastructure that is being constructed in Georgia is very important since currently, we are working on the Silk Road forum and on renewing the Silk Road which can link China and Europe,” said Bakradze.

“Here, we mean both the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and the Anaklia New Deep Water Black Sea Port,” he said. “All this will help implement the New Silk Road project.”

The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for EU. This project is aimed at diversification of routes and sources of energy supply and thereby increase EU’s energy security.

The Southern Gas Corridor envisages the delivery of gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to Europe.

As part of ensuring Azerbaijani gas supply to European market, a final investment decision was made on Dec.17, 2013 on the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field's development. The gas produced at this field will first go to the European market (10 billion cubic meters), while six billion cubic meters of gas will be annually delivered to Turkey.

The contract for development of the Shah Deniz offshore field was signed on June 4, 1996. The field’s reserve is estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.

As part of the second stage of the field’s development, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus gas pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines.

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.

The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president’s decree 'On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities' dated February 21, 2007.

A new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad is being constructed as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the railway's Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi section is under reconstruction in Georgia that will increase its capacity to 15 million metric tons of cargo per year. A depot is under construction in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.

The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo.

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